Rubber plants have seamlessly blended into interiors as a home décor element over the years. However, those lovely, velvety leaves falling off can be very upsetting for you.
Leaf shedding is a natural process, but it becomes an issue when it’s too frequent. Read on to understand what to do if you’ve observed that your rubber plant loses its leaves too soon.
So, what’s wrong with your rubber tree? Leaf damage of a particular sort may serve as an indicator of a problem.
Overwatering leads to yellowed, mushy leaves, whereas underwatering contributes to crisp, green foliage. Curls or pests may cause deformed leaves. Other possible causes include poor light, cold shock, or acclimatization to a new setting.
Why does rubber plant leaf drooping?
Since the Victorian era, this plant’s large leaves have helped it gain popularity. In contrast to its Fiddle-Leaf Fig relative, Rubber Plants are less fussy about their surroundings. They are so popular that they have already made a hit.
When left to their own conducive surroundings, Rubber Plants may reach up to 130 feet in the wild, but when maintained in a pot, they remain considerably smaller.
Currently, you also have burgundy-leaved cultivars to customize your home with.
Plants native to Asia prefer moist soil and bright indirect light. Rubber Plants are no exception.
The young plants have enormous oval leaves, which may grow up to a foot long and six inches broad. When it’s warm outside, they’ll grow up to two feet a year. However, when they are not satisfied with their surroundings, they’ll lose their leaves.
Reasons And Explanations
Although one cannot fix damaged leaves, new healthy growth can take its place.
It is possible to mold rubber plants into a bushy centerpiece or an indoor tree by cutting above a leaf node. Have a look at the prime reasons leading to the drooping of leaves in rubber plants.
Allowing the rubber plants to dry out between watering sessions is best to keep them healthy.
The plant prefers wet conditions during the growing season, although its roots need air exchanges. A rubber plant’s leaves become yellow or brown and get mushier if it gets more water than what it needs.
When watering, use your finger to feel the dirt. Do not just rely on a timer or the experiences you have gained from previous plants.
Wait to water until the top inch of soil is completely dry. Next, you should thoroughly wet the ground until the water drains out of the drainage holes.
Here are a few pointers:
- Make sure the pot has sufficient drainage facilities. Don’t let water accumulate at the bottom of the pot.
- A large pot may cause the soil to remain moist for an extended period.
- During the chilly dormant season, restrict the irrigation to once or twice a month at most.
- Make sure that the roots do not expose them to air conditioning or too much water at an average temperature.
- You may want to use distilled water rather than hard water for the plants.
Having a fresh specimen in your house may cause it to lose some of its leaves. The plant will stop losing leaves and grow again if you place it in direct sunlight and properly hydrate it. The plant’s turnaround time might be two to three months.
A rubber plant’s leaf shedding may also reduce when moved from the house to the yard for the summer and back again. Outdoor warmth and light benefit them significantly, which usually increases total development.
Repotting or planting a new seed
Rubber plants are tough, and they prefer staying in one place. After repotting or transplanting, you might anticipate some leaf drop. The leaf loss should cease as it heals while receiving enough light and water.
When transplanting, take care not to add more dirt on top. For rubber plants, it would be ideal to keep the top of their roots covered as much as possible.
Furthermore, adding more soil might give the impression that the roots are drier than they actually are.
When repotting, increase the diameter by around two inches.
Using a bigger container makes it more evident that the plant will receive extra water, making it more difficult for the plant to recover.
Remove as little dirt as possible from the roots; ensure not to injure the delicate root hairs. Add a mixed layer below the root ball and fill the edges to bring it up to the new pot’s height.
Bugs may cause leaf damage and loss. Despite its resistance to illness and infestation, a healthy rubber plant is vulnerable to aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites. However, scale is their primary weakness.
Adult shell bugs have circular shells that are between 1/8th and 1/16th of an inch across.
These may be tan, brown, gray, or white. When they first appear, they form dense colonies on the undersides of leaves and young stems. Honeydew, which these insects secrete, may make the leaves glossy and slushy.
When scale infects your rubber plants, it loses vitality, the leaves get yellowish, and the plant eventually loses all of its leaves altogether. Make it a point to look at the underside of your plant’s leaves frequently.
If you’re looking for a rapid fix, use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol. Pyrethrin, a horticultural oil, and insecticidal soap may also prove effective.
You’ll need to scrape the scale to get beneath the adults’ protective shells, irrespective of whatever method you pick. Repeat every four to seven days until they disappear.
Shockingly cold temperature
Rubber plants can tolerate a wide variety of indoor temperatures, although they are particularly vulnerable to the extremes of either heat or cold.
When the temperature drops below 45°F (7C°), the leaves begin to struggle and drop. Maintaining a steady temperature and providing correct care might help the plant recover from a minor injury.
The plant is hardy in USDA Zones 9b to 12 when grown in the ground. When temperatures drop, plants are at risk of suffering from cold shock.
The plants may drop leaves if exposed to an extremely cold or hot temperature, although a moderate fan or a window breeze is fine. In such a case, try moving it or diverting the stream to avoid blowing over the leaves.
Rubber plants want a lot of bright, indirect sunlight. Despite their ability to adapt to adversity, they prefer to express their discomfort by shedding leaves and becoming lanky instead of growing tall. A shift in the amount of light reaching the leaves of a rubber plant may also be the culprit.
Make sure the plant is near a window that gets enough sunlight.
Don’t keep the plants under scorching sun rays. There are two to four hours in the morning and evening when the sunbeams aren’t as harsh as they are in the middle of the day.
An east-facing window would be ideal for your rubber plants. West or south-facing exposure may be suitable if you shield the plant with thin curtains or relocate it a few feet away from the window.
Overfertilization may be the cause of a rubber plant losing leaves. Rubber plants don’t need a lot of fertilizers, and some farmers feed them once a year in the spring.
It’s very uncommon for people to fertilize their plants once every two months during the summer. Regardless of the season, do not fertilize during the dormant period.
The roots of a stressed-out plant might suffer jolts to the point that leaf loss becomes inevitable.
Residual fertilizer salts may also build up and contaminate the soil in the same way. Consider flushing the ground if you’ve ruled out any other potential reasons for leaf drop.
When watering, rinse the plant from the top, not the bottom. Ensure that a significant volume of wastewater gets drained away. Drain the saucepan entirely and try it again if necessary. Rewater only when the top two inches of soil have dried off.
How to fix rubber plant leaves drooping
- If a few leaves fall, don’t freak out. Keep an eye out for pests and ensure the plant is getting enough water and light.
- The damage you’re witnessing today might be the result of poor care your plant received before you bought it, especially if you only bought it a short time ago. In some instances, the right treatment might take years to manifest itself.
- Plants covered in dust aren’t receiving the quantity of light they’re supposed to. It will be easier for the plant to exhale, which will result in a more vibrant appearance.
- Keep in mind that trimming has less of an impact on the plant’s overall health than repotting.
- A rubber plant doesn’t produce new leaves from bare branches, but it does have fresh leaves at the end of a trimmed stem.
- A rubber plant’s savior is often a bright light. It aids the plant’s healing and growth, allowing it to swiftly make up for any losses. To be sure you’re on the right track, look for new leaves that are developing correctly and healthily.
Sometimes, the lack of water might cause your rubber plant to wither. At the absolute least, you should give it plenty of water every five days.
Other factors leading to poor plant health include overwatering, nutritional deficiency, or insect and disease infestations, which may induce drooping.
If your rubber plant is floppy, the aforementioned information can help you figure out what’s wrong. Most of the time, a few minor adjustments might be enough to resolve the problem.